Sunday, March 10, 2013

neither snow nor rain nor sleet nor wind

the old postal carrier saying seems to apply to my biking life:
Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night....
may I just add sleet, cold, and wind?

greetings from moab, where, in march, the weather is essentially unpredictable and widely variable. 
and after two days of riding, we can attest to that.  we're here for the skinny tire festival:  3 days of riding in this startlingly beautiful, stark and quiet land which always leads me to introspection.  that is, when I can feel my fingers and toes.

we arrived in moab friday evening to a statement from the ride organizers that the saturday route had been changed due to the severe weather forecasted for the day.  lunch would NOT be served at the dead horse point turnaround, in fact, the route was no longer even heading up the hill toward dead horse point.
just because there was a 60% chance of moisture and a predicted high somewhere around 50?
wimps, I thought.   (just wait, humility is coming.)

we woke up saturday morning to gray, overcast skies which were holding their moisture in quite well, and we (i.e., susan, with john nodding in semi-reluctant agreement) decided to give it a try anyway.  heck, I've been cold before, I've been wet before.  I didn't come here to ride along the (yawn) river portal to potash, I came to ride up to dead horse point.  
the first 12 or so miles were through town and then along a beautifully designed bike path, not without some climbing, but off from the highway, hugging rock walls, surrounded by postcard-worthy beauty.  then we started up the 22-mile long route up to dead horse point.  it's possible we made it a mile before the first droplets of moisture hit my face, one here, pause, pause, another there.  totally tolerable.  completely.   
another mile up, a few more droplets.  okay, they were cold.  refreshing.  well, kind of like sleet.
another mile, more sleet-y stuff, well, and then it was no longer sleet but had become, yep, snow.
but light snow, pretty, not too bad, not like a solid wall of it or anything.
a few miles passed in this manner, and the nice thing about snow versus sleet/rain is that snow doesn't soak you quite as quickly.
then the snow began coming down a little more heavily.
then the wind picked up, whipping that snow more and more in my face.
we were a third of the way to the top, and my misery level was increasing iota by iota, pedal stroke by pedal stroke.
but I don't like to give up.
however, I kept looking for a landmark, a good turn-around point, a place I could say I made it to.  a campground, a monument, a significant rock, anything.  we were about 40% of the way up the hill, and . . . enough is enough.
I turned around;  john didn't argue.  

you know I don't like to give up.  and I can tough it out pretty well.  but sometimes the suffering just isn't worth it, and yesterday's ride pushed me to one of those points.

however . . . the new bike performed absolutely beautifully, and is an awesome machine.
it rode well today, too, against the wind up the colorado river and with the wind (whee!) back down to town.

yes, I know I haven't yet answered the time v. cannondale question.   here's a hint:  the answer is embedded in everything I've typed about this decision from the first post through today's.  cheers and here's to a warm and sunny monday in arches national park!

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